Wash your hands. This is a statement that you have probably heard a million times over, starting as far back as you can remember. Did you know that employers are responsible for ensuring that employees wash their hands after removing PPE by regulation?
In OSHA’s bloodborne pathogen standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030(d)(2)(v) states that employers shall ensure that employees wash their hands immediately or as soon as feasible after removal of gloves or other personal protective equipment. There are provisions in place to allow for alternative methods when this is not physically possible, but every effort needs to be made to encourage covered employees to wash their hands after removing PPE and before leaving the laboratory. This goes beyond providing a handwashing sink, soap, and towels for use at a convenient location when exiting the lab. Handwashing should be covered in new employee and annual training sessions and can be done in a fun way to gain people’s attention. Setting a good examples and encouraging people to wash their hands when the practice slides are equally as important.